the california casa you see in your dreams
Published Oct 15, 2015 5:00 AM
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This is a home that speaks SoCal. Fluently. The home of designers Jason O’Dell and Laura O’Dell is nothing short of breathtaking, with Southern Cali-influenced touches living side-by-side with wallpaper and cozy furnishings that bid welcome to all. The husband-and-wife team designed their home themselves, as well as the wallpaper in it! As if each purposefully styled room wasn’t enough, this home also has more outdoor space than we’d know what to do with (okay, we’d know what to do with it). Read on to learn more about the O’Dells and their simply stunning space in Silverlake.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THIS HOME? We used to live in the Franklin Hills, about a couple miles away, and we would park our car in front of this house to go running around the Silver Lake reservoir. One day there was a for sale sign up and a brokers open happening. We went in on a Tuesday, made an offer Wednesday, which got accepted, and we had to scramble to sell our house in the Franklin Hills. Long story short, we sold our house in three weeks and were moving into this house three and a half weeks after the first time we saw it. We weren’t even really looking for a new house! We just knew that when we walked it, it felt like we were supposed to be there.
WAS THIS A COMPLETE REDESIGN? Yes and No, We did re-landscape everything and installed two fire pits and a lot of new brick work. The garden was installed with the fountain – a free find! And we built the guest house, which we used as our office until we outgrew it and needed more space for more employees.
We didn’t have to move walls inside the main house – it just needed a ton of lights changed, all new paint, and the wallpaper hung. It was very dark when we got it, once everything was white, and the lights were installed, it got much brighter.
THE STYLE SEEMS SO COHESIVE, YET ECLECTIC. HOW DID YOU PLAN THIS PROJECT? We liked to shop for the big furniture pieces first. Since we have two kids, comfort and function is important. We love natural fabrics and textures but love to pop in color with rugs, artwork, and pillows. We also love great flea market finds and felt that adding unique pieces like that end up making your house look and feel very eclectic.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE PART OF THE HOME? For Laura, the garden room with the white sofa. It faces south, so it gets good sunlight and when you open up the french doors the sounds of the fountain are very relaxing. For Jason, the living room is a favorite. We found those vintage club chairs (1926) at a Project Angel Food event. That is my favorite place to sit and have a glass of wine at the end of a long day.
WHAT IS THE BEST REACTION ANYONE HAS HAD TO YOUR SPACE? Most people love the wallpaper! But they also get a kick out of a rumor that Esther Williams once lived in the house and she also was the one who put the pool in.
BECAUSE I’M A WALLPAPER GEEK, WHERE DID THESE AMAZING WALLPAPERS COME FROM? The wallpaper is all of our own, available on bucksanddoes.com.
Laura designs all of the prints for our clothing companies (The Odells and Porridge), so moving into wallpaper was a natural step. The prints are inspired by vintage scarves or her personal paintings. From there we CAD them into a room to decide the scale to go with, and move on to the color palette.
The main focus is to keep each design timeless and classic so that it doesn’t clash with other key furniture pieces in the home.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THE DESIGN PROCESS? Designing the stairs for the guest house / studio was my favorite, I (Jason) had a custom form made for the concrete stairs, all of the “new” forms don’t have the same radius as stairs from the 1920’s, they are all bigger for some reason. So I found a set of stairs from a 1920’s apartment in Los Feliz and measured every aspect of them. Then re-created them in a CAD format to give to the shape — in my opinion, that is one of the key factors that makes the new addition feel like it was original.
AND THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? We had to get all of our neighbors to sign a petition so that we didn’t have to move the garage. I showed up with my son in a baby bjorn, and knocked on everyone’s doors to “urge” them to sign. Luckily everyone signed off and we were good to go. If that didn’t happen, then we wouldn’t have been able to build the studio / guest house.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE AREA/NEIGHBORHOOD? We love that it’s very walkable. You run into your neighbors all over the hood. There are a ton of kids the same age as our kids, and while being urban, it has a very 1950s vibe to it, I think that that’s a hard thing to get these days, especially in a city.
ANY ADVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS EMBARKING ON A SIMILAR PROJECT? Keep it fun and go with your gut — but make sure you measure first!